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Ways to destress

Simple ways to take off the heat

Exercise... This has to be the number one natural way to lower stress, improve your physical and mental health and to get those lovely endorphins coursing through your body... It doesn't have to be in the gym; cycling, walking, jogging, whatever takes YOUR fancy are all great ways to get active.

Be creative... Many of us think 'I can't draw' or 'I could never write poetry' or 'I wish I could sing'. The truth is, practically everyone can draw, write poetry and sing. Just do it for you, not an audience. It is that simple. Often, we sing in the car or the shower, we doodle on a notepad, we make up little rhymes. Children do it naturally. Allow your 'inner child' out to play. It was your inner child who got hurt when people laughed at its attempts to draw/sing/write creatively. Thats why you believe you can't do them now. It is a big LIE! You can. You may not be like the professionals who make a living at them, but it isn't about perfection, it is about expressing yourself. Try may be surprised how much fun you have.

Socialise... We live in a world where meeting people in person is diminishing. Meet up with a friend rather than text them. Join a club. We are social beings. Being excluded from society is a form of punishment in many parts of the world, yet we do it to ourselves. If you think you will be 'bothering' someone, well, maybe they are feeling a bit lonely just like you and they would love some company. Until one of you asks you simply will not know.

Feed your mind... TV, the internet, they are like fast food. Tempting, easy, cheap, but ultimately not good for your mind. Have a think. 'I've always wanted to...' but not yet done? You will know. Now, try it. Be brave. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Know it is OK to have a bad day... The weather changes and so do we. Allow yourself to have an off day. Tomorrow will probably be different, but if it isn't then the next day will. If things persist, then get help. Talk to someone. Get some therapy if you feel it would help.

Avoid the traps... Shopping for clothes will make me feel better. A glass of wine, maybe even 2. Food, I think I will eat myself happy. Gambling, I might win. Crash diet, that's the answer, I will starve myself to make myself feel better. These traps seem attractive because they either quickly change the way we feel or we believe that if we look better (thinner in fancy clothes) we will feel better. Unfortunately, they are at best fleeting and at worst very dangerous.

Therapy, talking to someone in confidence who is trained and experienced in listening and supporting you, is worth considering. Therapists don't have magic wands, but they do have the ability to help you see things more clearly and support you in achieving more contentment in your life.

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